Special to The Register
EKUs Nick Howie was chosen as the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division I baseball by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday.
He is only the second EKU student-athlete to be selected as the Academic All-America of the Year for any sport.
Howie was also one of just 11 NCAA Division I baseball student-athletes chosen to the CoSIDA 2020 Academic All-America first team. He is EKU baseball's first three-time Academic All-America selection, having been chosen to the third team in 2018 and first team in 2019. Howie is only the fourth EKU student-athlete to earn Academic All-America honors three times.
The Oakville, Ontario, native graduated in May with a 4.00 grade-point-average while majoring in finance.
Since 1970 the EKU athletics department has had 49 Academic All-America selections from all sports, 13 more than any other Ohio Valley Conference institution. Howie is only the fourth Ohio Valley Conference student-athlete to be named the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year, for any sport. He joins former teammate Ben Fisher (2017) as the only two EKU student-athletes to receive the Academic All-America of the Year honor.
"I am extremely honored and proud to be given this recognition," Howie said. "I could not be in this position without the support of my family, coaches, teammates, and professors."
who have all helped me get to where I am today. I am so blessed and fortunate to have been given an environment at EKU the past four years that allowed me to grow as a person and an athlete. I have worked extremely hard to get to this point, and being named the Academic All-America of the Year for baseball for my successes athletically and academically is truly gratifying."
The outfielder hit .351 with two home runs, 14 runs scored, 16 RBI, five doubles and six stolen bases this past season. He is eligible to return in 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic prematurely ended the 2020 NCAA spring sports seasons. Howie drew seven walks and had a .433 on-base percentage. He was chosen as the 45th-best outfielder in the nation and rated as the 50th-best hitter by D1Baseball.com after the season.
Howie was one of 36 players from across the nation named to the watch list for the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award, he was picked as the 2020 OVC Preseason Player of the Year and was a preseason All-OVC selection. Howie was named to the OVC All-Rookie Team in 2017, the All-OVC second-team in 2018 and All-OVC first-team in 2019.
"Nick is one of those special players that comes into your program every once in a while," EKU head coach Edwin Thompson said. "From the first day he put on a Colonel uniform he has been consistent in every aspect of his life. He has earned awards both in the classroom and on the field. To be our program's first three-time Academic All-American is a horror in itself, but to be the Academic All-America of the Year is a special way for him to end his senior season. I am so proud of him for how much he has impacted our program and our campus during his time at EKU."
In November, Howie received the highest Ohio Valley Conference individual academic/athletic honor when he was chosen as one of six individuals to receive the prestigious OVC Scholar-Athlete Award for 2019-20. The award is the highest individual honor that can be earned by OVC student-athletes, and is given annually to three men and three women of junior or senior status for their accomplishments in both the classroom and athletic arena, and because of their leadership qualities.
In addition to his perfect grade-point-average, Howie's other academic accomplishments include earning the OVC Academic Medal of Honor, and being named to the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and EKU's Dean's List multiple times.
Howie was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and worked as a tutor for pre-core business classes. Away from school he was active with Samaritan's Feet, Habitat for Humanity, Richmond Little League, the Richmond YMCA and Richmond Kids' Fest.
The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program is considered the most prestigious athletics/academic honor a student-athlete can receive. Each year CoSIDA conducts the Academic All-America® program for a variety of sports. Howie is the EKU baseball program's 12th Academic All-America® selection. After an Academic All-America® team is selected for each sport, one person is selected as the Academic All-America® of the Year for that sport.
To be nominated for Academic All-America® honors, a student-athlete must carry at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point-average (on a 4.0 scale) for his/her career. No athlete is eligible until he/she has reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution.